Feltbeats.com Interviews Murder in the First Writer/Producer Eric Lodal

Eric Lodal, writer and producer of Tom’s current TV series Murder in the First, was kind enough to sit down and answer a few questions for us this week. In this exclusive interview, he discusses Tom, Erich and the creative process behind the hit TV show.

What was the casting process like for Tom? When did you know you had your Erich Blunt?

Easy. I’ve always been a huge fan of Tom’s and I thought from the beginning that he might be perfect for this role. Once we knew he could pull off the American accent, it was a no-brainer.

What’s something you learned about Tom that you didn’t already know?

What an incredibly good guy he is. You really get to know someone when you work this closely with them. Tom’s a wonderful person and a true pleasure to be around. He’s the ultimate pro, very down to earth, and treats everyone on the crew with the same amount of respect regardless of their position, which I admire greatly.

Any behind-the-scenes funny moments you’d like to share?

Sure, but then I’d have to kill you.

Will we see more sparks fly between Erich and Hildy?

I’m going to hold to our policy of not answering plot questions or providing spoilers.  I’ll just say everything comes to a head in these last two episodes.  It’s a pretty wild ending.

Erich Blunt comes across as super creepy and yet sometimes vulnerable. Great acting, great writing, or both?

Incredible acting that’s for sure.  I always imagined Blunt as an almost operatic villain and Tom is one of the few young actors in the world capable of pulling that off.

Erich is known as a Silicon Valley genius whose company is called Applsn, how much of his character’s inspiration is drawn from real life people such as Mark Zuckerberg or Steve Jobs?

Hopefully Blunt is his own creature. We certainly weren’t trying to draw any direct comparisons. But I think that a universal theme when you study all entrepreneurs is that there is a fine line between madness and genius and to create something from nothing, as they do, you must have a little bit of both.

Is there any chance of an Erich appearance if there’s a second season?

Anything is possible.

Has the series been green-lighted for a second season? And if so, have you begun to prep for season 2?


What has been the fan reaction in relation to the show?

Pretty positive? A little hard to tell from my position. You tell me?

Do you have any lawyers or homicide detectives consulting on the show?

Absolutely. We were lucky enough to have the help of the legendary Howard Weitzman, a close friend of Steven’s and one of the world’s best and most renowned criminal attorneys.  Howard worked with us on all of the story and scripts related to the trial and criminal case to make sure we were as close to reality as possible.  And Joe Toomey, a forty-year homicide inspector with SFPD and a bit of a legend up there, was our police tech-consultant on set every day making sure we did things properly.  So we were in very good hands.

To what extent do you use real forensic psychology and techniques

All the time and as much as possible.

Are there any scenes that were improvised / were added spontaneously?

You always leave room for improvisation within scenes, but you try to never add scenes on the fly. That would create chaos on set and in the prep process.  For the most part we stick to the scripts.

Most crime shows, such as Law & Order, have different crimes each week. Where did the idea come from to take one case and stretch it to an entire season?

Well my partner Steven Bochco was the first to do this on network TV with MURDER ONE in 1995.  It was ahead of its time.  Ours is different in many ways, we put the cops at the center as opposed to the lawyers, etc. but the first show to track a case over an entire season was Murder One.

Thanks very much to Eric for answering our questions! Murder in the First screens tonight at 10/9C on TNT. You can follow their twitter account @MurderFirstTNT, and Eric’s Twitter @EricLodal. Don’t forget to choose your side over Erich’s innocence or guilt!

And follow along with admin Lori on the @feltbeats twitter as she livetweets tonight’s episode!

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